Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy you the freedom to pursue what makes you happy.
Bad financial decisions can limit you, they can prevent you from pursuing those things that make you happy.
Financial freedom is not about reaching a certain income, and it’s not about having a specific amount in the bank— it’s about being intentional with how you spend what you have. It’s about making your money work for you.
If you decided tomorrow that you wanted to quit your job and go live as a beach-bum in the Philippines, could you? I don’t mean can you afford it, I mean are you free to do that? If you’re tied to a car payment, a mortgage worth more than your house, or have massive student loan debt you probably can’t pick up and make a huge lifestyle change, creditors typically don’t take too kindly to that.
Part of living intentionally is living in a way that we have a certain level of control over our lives. Our finances is one of the areas where we can easily give up control of our lives without even realizing it. For an example, let’s look at a common goal. A lot of people say they want to spend more time with their families. Having more money doesn’t make that happen. However, having a level of financial freedom could free you up to consider different options. Do you want to work less? Perhaps you could change jobs where there is less after-hours work. Maybe you could move to a different area so you have a shorter commute and you’re home sooner. Depending on how creative you are, there are dozens more potential ways to achieve your goal of increased family time and if you have maintained your financial freedom you can make your decision based on what you want, not on what you can afford.
Being in this position doesn’t just happen overnight, but the goal of financial freedom makes so many other goals attainable. As we start our journey of thriving intentionally it’s important that we work to get ourselves into a position where we are in control and can make decisions to better our lives. Though it may sound like a radical idea in today’s world, this really boils down to the idea of living within our means. I don’t know who the Joneses are, but trying to keep up with them has caused millions of people to give up control of their own lives. When you owe someone money, especially an amount of money that you don’t have, they own you. Whether it’s a bank, a credit card company, a school, or even a friend or family member, when you owe them money your first responsibility is to them and they can dictate the decisions you make in other areas of your life.
The reality is, whether you like it or not, money does make the world go round. However, if you can live within your means, only spend what you actually have, reduce your standard of living in order to keep out of debt, you can control how fast your world spins. You can control where your life takes you, and you will have the freedom to pursue those things that make you truly happy.